What is Pizzagate? This Hillary Clinton Conspiracy Theory Led to a Shooting in a Washington, D.C., Pizzeria
Between Podesta’s frequent references to pizza and his emails to Alefantis about fundraisers, people on 4chan, a message board known for originating several internet hoaxes, began to make up a story about a pedophilia ring run from the basement of the pizza shop. People speculated that pizza orders were actually code words for illegal activities, and that the eatery’s after-school club for kids was something much darker. Internet users believed they found clues in Alefantis’ social media and the artwork on the walls of the family-friendly restaurant.
The far-fetched theory became much more terrifying on Sunday, December 4, when Edgar Maddison Welch drove from his home in North Carolina to Washington, D.C., to see for himself if there was anything suspicious happening at Comet Ping Pong. According to CNN, he allegedly walked inside and drew a weapon. He fired at least one shot before he was apprehended, and no one was hurt in the incident.
The Latest: Pizzagate shooting suspect ordered held by judge
The conspiracy theory involving a fake news story that links Hillary Clinton and a D.C. pizza shop to a child exploitation ring has at least one prominent adherent linked to President-elect Donald Trump's transition team.
Michael Flynn Jr. is an adviser to his father, Michael Flynn, whom Trump selected to serve as national security adviser.
Flynn Jr. has sent numerous posts on Twitter about the conspiracy theories of Pizzagate, a fake news story that suggests a pizza shop called Comet Ping Pong plays a key role in a child sex trafficking ring run by Clinton.
Police say the conspiracy theory led to violence Sunday when a North Carolina man fired a rifle in the restaurant as he sought to investigate the accusations. No one was injured, and the man was arrested.
Flynn Jr., who has accompanied his father to presidential transition meetings inside Trump Tower and lists the presidential transition website as part of his Twitter bio, tweeted Sunday night that, "Until #Pizzagate proven to be false, it'll remain a story."
That last tweet seems indicative of a prevalent type of thinking these days: "if a story fits my world-view, it's true until someone proves that it's false." Not only that, but people seem to reject any evidence to the contrary without even considering it.
Michael Flynn Jr. is apparently only a few steps removed from the White House... sorry, I mean Trump Tower.
Edited by Sidestreet, 06 December 2016 - 07:10 AM.